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New Open Access Agreement Saves the University of Utah $50,000

As the Marriott Library enters year two of its open access agreement, initiated in January 2021, with Cambridge University Press (CUP), the campus has realized $50,000 in cost savings associated with article processing charges (APCs). APCs are publishing fees many open access journals and publishers charge to make a journal article available at no cost to readers on the web. Without the agreement, individual authors would have been required to pay the APCs either through grant funds, personal funds, or other funding mechanisms.  “Reducing barriers to publication is foundational to open access,” said Joel Thornton, Associate Dean for Collections and Scholarly Communication.  “As the publishing landscape continues to change, we will seek additional opportunities to initiate open access agreements that make the most sense for our authors as well as financially for the institution.”

The CUP agreement allows any U of U faculty, staff, or student to publish accepted journal articles without paying costly APCs.  Since the program’s inception, sixteen authors from the U of U have chosen to make their articles openly available to anyone in the world.   This is commonly referred to as gold Open Access and represents a growing approach to the dissemination of scholarly research. Cambridge University Press publishes nearly 400 journals across several disciplines, including mathematics, biology, humanities, health sciences, political and social sciences, and health care.

U of U authors who have participated in the program, such as Dr. Ann Johnson, Director of Institutional Review Board & Human Research Protection Program, assert that publishing open access means making research available to peers at other institutions who otherwise lack access to certain journal subscriptions.  For Dr. David De Micheli, Assistant Professor of Political Science and Ethnic Studies, without the CUP agreement publishing open access, would have been cost prohibitive. Now De Micheli can publish open access free of charge and share his work with colleagues worldwide. “Open access licenses make sharing published research much easier and quicker,” says Allyson Mower, Librarian for Scholarly Communication & Copyright.

Publishing open access also impacts alt-metrics.  Alt metrics measure the amount of attention an article receives.   Furthermore, alt metric statistics show the impact of newly published work on academic social media as links are shared, tweeted, and discussed on the internet.  Open access availability of these articles allows for immediate academic attention and impact.

In addition to the CUP agreement, the U of U currently has open access agreements with the Electrochemical Society, the Association of Computing Machinery, and MDPI journals, with the hopes of more to come. To learn more about the various options for publishing open access please contact Librarian Allyson Mower or consult the open access agreements guide.

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